NASA claims on their official website that they picked up on their X-ray satellite US Chandra a source of X-radiation originating from dwarf planet Pluto.
It’s not the first time because between February 2014 and August 2015, the satellite received in total 4 times X-ray radiation, which derived from Pluto. The radiation is the result of the interaction between the solar wind and the gases in the thin atmosphere of Pluto. It is the first time that there is x-ray radiation measured coming from an object in the Kuiper belt.
Scientists thought that the dwarf planet would not be able to produce such radiation. Pluto is namely a cold, rocky world without magnetic field and does not have a natural mechanism to emit the radiation.
A new study, however, it appears that Pluto nevertheless produces x-ray radiation. The X-ray brightness of the dwarf planet is also much larger than expected. They also found out that even comets and the rings of Saturn emit X-rays. The question now is why Pluto produces so many X-rays. One possible explanation is that the tail of gases that the dwarf planet drags longer and much wider than imagined.
Other possibilities are that magnetic fields guides more solar particles than expected in the direction of Pluto or that has formed a torus of gas along the orbit of Pluto. Pluto is the largest object in the Kuiper Belt, a ring or belt which contains a huge amount of small celestial bodies beyond Neptune in orbit around the sun.
The research is published in the journal Science Direct.